Micke Grove Zoo

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At the Nature Center you will see

Western Terrestrial Gartersnake

Thamnophis elegans

Habitat: Wide range of habitats that include mountains, valleys, deserts, grasslands, forests, and chaparral habitats

Range: Western Canada and western U.S.A

Natural Diet: Small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and eggs

Status in the Wild: Common (Least Concern)

Animal Facts

Western terretrial gartersnakes usually have a light yelllowis-orange or white dorsal strip on brown. This species display various color morphs that makes is challenging to identify the species. Adult snakes are approximately 1.5 to 4 feet in length. They are known to produce venom that may have a myonecrotic effect. Adults use different methods to capture prey. After finding their prey, garters grab and swallow them. In this case, you will be able to see the snake swallow its prey as it works its prey down its neck. This species has been observed to constrict prey. 

Garters do not lay eggs. They are ovoviviparous
. In this case, the eggs develop and remain inside the female until they are ready to hatch. Each brood consists of 10 to 12 young. Breeding usually takes place in spring.


The Nature Center houses a female western garter snake


Distributional range

For the location of the Nature Center, click on the link below

Nature Center Location